NOVEMBER SUNSHINE

 

A collection of photos from Ventry Beach, on a November Day in glorious warm sunshine.  Yes, sometimes we do have lovely weather in the winter here – just not as much as we might like.  But this was one of those lovely days.

Ventry Beach is a few miles from Dingle town on the Dingle Peninsula in the South West of Ireland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The village of Ventry can be seen across the water here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have many more photos from Ventry Beach, taken at different times of the year and in different light.  Please visit my website for more photos.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/ventry+beach

Also, I have published several previous posts here on Ventry Beach. Here are two of them:

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2020/07/25/ventry-beach-2/

https://helenebrennan.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/ventry/

Thanks for viewing my photos. I hope to see you again soon.

CAPE CLEAR ISLAND and BALTIMORE HARBOUR

 

My trip to Cape Clear Island involved an 8 mile ferry ride from the charming small coastal town  of Baltimore in West County Cork, in the South West of Ireland.

There are also at least seven towns in USA called Baltimore. I wonder how many inhabitants of those towns have any idea what it means. I used to assume it meant big town, from the Gaelic (Irish language). Baile means town and mór means big. But I recently looked it up and apparently it means town of the big house. Baile (town) + Tí or Tigh (house) + Mór (big). So, Baltimore is an anglicisation of the Irish name Baile Tí Mór = town of the big house. The big house seen in the top of this photo above is Baltimore Castle, originally built in 1215.

Just hanging about, waiting for the ferry.

 

On the ferry out of Baltimore Harbour one can see the Beacon. It was constructed in 1884 and marks the headland of the strait between Sherkin Island and the mainland at the entrance to Baltimore harbour.

Approaching Cape Clear Island.

 

These photos were taken from the boat.

 

 

 

Approaching the Island’s North Harbour.

 

 

 

Just next to the harbour is this old ruin, St. Kieran’s Church, dating from about the 12th century.

 

At the harbour there is a tourist information centre, cafe, pub, heritage centre/museum, all of which were closed, due to the covid-19 restrictions that were in place at the time. A map outside the tourist info centre would have been useful, but there was none.  Food and tea/coffee were available from a kiosk, where the woman serving was run off her feet with the visitors from the ferries.

Nothing to do here on this 3 x 1 mile island but walk, nothing wrong with that on a beautiful sunny day. Of course I took the usual hundreds of photos on this walk around the roads of the island, which is very hilly, up and down, up and down… and very short of signposts.

 

The sight of old ruined stone cottages is a common one all over ireland. Over the years, particularly the past two centuries, people have left their homes and many emigrated for a variety of reasons, mostly because of poverty, famine, eviction etc.  Some, in better times, simply built a new house nearby and let the old one decay.

 

 

 

 

Cork has many islands but only about 7 of them are inhabited.

 

 

 

 

 

 

True love!

There are about 100+ inhabitants on this island, although pre-famine (mid 19th century) there were over 1000. They would like to attract more people there now, particularly young families. If I were younger I’d give it some thought!

Capr Clear is a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) island.

 

 

 

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse.  This is the closest I could get to it. There is a ferry trip from Baltimore that goes to the lighthouse, as well as calling at Cape Clear Island. I would really love to have done that trip, but due to my propensity for sea-sickness, I had to give it a miss. But now that I’ve seen the boats (they’re quite big and stable) I think I should do it next time.

 

 

 

 

The island’s South Harbour, above.

The old lighthouse and signal station unused since 1854, when the first Fastnet Lighthouse was built.

 

The lighthouse is in amazingly good condition, with its precision cut granite  block construction.

 

 

I suspect these harbours would normally be much busier. Covid-19 has taken its toll on tourism and marine leisure activities.

 

Glamping has come to Cape Clear; there are some yurts for holiday rental.

Time to return to the mainland.

 

 

 

Leaving Cape Clear Island.

 

Back at Baltimore. A gorse/heather fire was on the hill, creating a lot of smoke.  Farmers burn the gorse and heather to create more grazing land.  Don’t know why they don’t use goats.

Baltimore Harbour, with the big house, or castle, overlooking the harbour.

 

 

I was going to split these photos into two separate posts, but I decided to put them all together. Thank you for your patience if you have reached the end. I hope you enjoyed the trip to Cape Clear with me. Thanks so much for viewing my post.

More West Cork photos on my website: https://www.helene-brennan.com/c865-west-cork

 

 

GAP OF DUNLOE

These photos are from the Gap of Dunloe, a narrow mountain pass in County Kerry, in the South West of Ireland. It separates the MacGillycuddy’s Reeks mountain range in the west, from the Purple Mountain Group range in the east.  It’s a lovely scenic route from Killarney to the West County Cork area, an alternative to the faster N71 main road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jaunting cars for tourists operate between 7.30am and 6.pm and can make the journey very slow and tedious for those driving cars. The jarveys (jaunting car drivers) don’t always like to enable motor cars to pass them.

However, I am sure the jaunting cars offer a great way of slowly taking in the wonderful scenery, and no doubt the jarveys are a great source of local knowledge.

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I really appreciate your visit to my post. If you would like to view more photos of the Killarney area and Iveragh Peninsula (Ring of Kerry), please visit my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney

 

 

GOUGANE BARRA

Some photos here from a trip a few weeks back to Gougane Barra, in County Cork. This is a beautiful forest park with a romantic looking lakeside church, Sr. Finbarr’s Oratory – a popular venue for weddings as there is a hotel on site also, just facing the church. This was also the site of an early Christian settlement.

There are several forest trails, high and low level, with stunning forest landscape, and precious little phone or internet coverage. You may need to wait until later to post your photos.

Unfortunately, I still cannot find a way in this new editor to separate the images in the way I would like them to be viewed. On my computer they appear all joined together when previewed. Very disappointing. Yet they are ok when viewed on my phone. I hope you will enjoy the photos anyway. Thanks so much for visiting.

LEFT OF MOUNT BRANDON

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On this walk we took a path to the left of Mount Brandon, a different side of the mountain from that my previous post. We had intended to go up Brandon but due to low cloud and skeins of foggy patches coming from the sea we thought it safer to not go to the top of the mountain.  I was secretly glad of this, to be honest, because I didn’t feel fit enough for the more challenging walk we might have taken.

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The landmarks remained the same for much of the walk, but the clouds changed all the time.

 

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This is how Brandon appeared as clouds rolled by.

 

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My guess at this story is that the farmer left this old vehicle here to use as storage for his fencing materials, and it was first vandalised by human eejits, and later attacked by multiple storms.

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These two photos were taken in the same minute, and look how quickly the picture can change in this kind of weather.

 

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We accidentally deviated from our path and arrived at this cliff edge, and sat for our picnic on the grassy slopes below, where I picked up a few sheep ticks – again!  There is Lyme disease here, but one can stay at home and be safe, or go out and take chances.  At least you can’t pass Lyme disease on to anyone else, unlike Covid-19.

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So, back down on low ground, and even on the correct route, just signposted with no obvious path.

A lovely walk with great views, and the foggy clouds even added to the beauty of the scenes. I hope you enjoyed the images.

Thanks for viewing my post. Please click on this tag for different views of Mount Brandon, photos and paintings on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/mount+brandon

BRANDON POINT

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A lovely walk on the far side of the Connor Pass from Dingle, to Brandon Point on the edge of Mount Brandon, and up the hill from the car park. Beautiful views, well worth the journey, although negotiating the tourists on the pass is somewhat precarious in August.  Parts of this road are very narrow and winding, with overhanging rocks, and a steep drop on one side.

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With the Connor Pass well behind, this is Cloghane Estuary

 

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View from the car park at Brandon Point.

 

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…and walking up the hill, looking at the views.

 

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One of 83 wartime (WW2) lookout posts around the coast of Ireland.

 

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Jasmine and friends, a lovely bunch of people relaxing at the top of the hill beside the cairn.  You can sometimes meet the nicest people at the top of mountains!

 

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Brandon Beach

 

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On the journey back to the pass.

 

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Home safe and sound after this enjoyable little bit of a hill walk. So nice to see the scenery at the other side of Brandon Mountain.

Next I have some photos to show of yet another side of Mount Brandon.  Here is a preview:

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Thank you for your visit to my post, I hope you will join me again for my next post, coming soon.

Dingle Peninsula photos on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c25–photos-of-dingle-peninsula

MOODY HUES

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Some recent photos from my local beach Béal Bán, Ballyferriter, on the Dingle Peninsula, South West Ireland. It was one of those moody days, when the light quality could change in an eye-blink. Just a normal day here really.

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I guessed that the tartan slippers belonged to the occupant of a camper parked here. They created an unlikely and incongruous image by the beach.

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Thanks for visiting my post, I hope you enjoyed  this beach walk.  Please visit my website for more Dingle Peninsula photos, with images of several other lovely beaches in this area.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c25–photos-of-dingle-peninsula

KILLARNEY NATIONAL PARK (Part 2)

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Continuing our drive through Killarney National Park, following on from my previous post, we three masked women in my van leave behind Muckross Park and Torc Waterfall and we pass Ladies View – the famous and popular viewing place for Killarney’s beautiful lakes. We had to pass it by because there were so many tourists there that it seemed impossible to get a parking spot. However, we stopped at several places not far beyond that, and here are the photos:

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Lily pads on the lake.

 

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In the Black Valley region.

 

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Finally we drove through the famous Gap of Dunloe.  By this time the weather turned very dark and dim and I had to employ a little help from my image editing app to inject a little life into these photos.

 

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Here are some of the jaunting cars that can be hired to tour this area, all fitted with pooh bags, since there were strong objections from many people regarding the amount of horse dung on the pathways of the Killarney National Park.  After some resistance, the jarveys (jaunting car drivers) complied with the new rule imposed by the Office of Public Works.

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We certainly enjoyed our trip through Killarney National Park, and I hope you enjoyed the trip with us also.

In case you missed Part 1 of this post, click here

There are more photos of this area on my website:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c87-photographs-of-the-iveragh-peninsula-and-killarney

Thanks for looking. Stay safe!

 

 

 

 

 

ONE OF THOSE SUNSETS

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This one crept up on me, as they often do. I was just settling down to watch one of my favourite TV shows when I glanced out the window and saw these brillant colours in the sky. I nearly didn’t bother, but I decided to go for it, grabbed the camera and ran out and just managed to get a few shots before the colours faded.

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These bare branches make it look quite wintry. We’ve had some very windy days this summer, following on from a particularly stormy winter. Some of the trees in this area haven’t had a chance to grow or hold onto many leaves.

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Thanks for looking. Stay safe!

VENTRY BEACH

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Some shots of Ventry Beach (again!) just with my mobile phone, on a couple of recent walks. The phone has developed an annoying habit of reverting to low resolution – used to stay on high res, now I have to keep checking. Anyway here are some of the results.

 

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The sky being unusually clear for this climate, combined with a very calm sea, like a lake, made for some fairly minimalist images, especially this one above.

Below, on a different day, the clouds created a much more interesting sky and some lovely patches of light and shade.

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A socially distanced conversation about social distancing, one could guess, above.

 

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Doesn’t this beach look quiet? Yet there was nowhere to park in the small car park.  One way of keeping the beaches quiet here. Currently the area is full of visitors.

 

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I hope you have enjoyed walking with me. This is Ventry Beach, a few miles from Dingle Town, on the Dingle Peninsula in County Kerry, South West Ireland on the Wild Atlantic Way. Obviously not looking so wild in these captures, but for some really wild ones, please visit my website, try this tag:

https://www.helene-brennan.com/tag/turbulent+sea